To be alive, to be as the trees that are evergreen – that is what the soul longs for. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a good vacation, then you are in desperate need of an adventure. And if it’s adventure in Asheville you seek, you’re about to embark on an electrifying awesome one.
The heartbeat of Asheville is a culture rooted in music and arts, and the people’s passion for life is what sustains them. The city has received numerous accolades for its vibrant quality of life. To name a few, Asheville has been included in the “50 Most Alive Places To Be”, “10 Most Beautiful Places In America” and “Top 25 Small Cities For Art”. Pumped enough? Great! We’d love to send you off packing already, but not without our 5 tips to help make your Asheville experience your best yet.
#1. Enjoy A Feast of Foliage On Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a part of the US National Parks, and it is has the most incredible view. You might notice that a lot of cars that traverse this 469-mile road move at a glacial pace. Don’t worry their cars aren’t broken, they’re just soaking up the view. And so should you. Here’s a tip: bring a picnic. Along the way, you’ll find that there are many roadside picnic stops where you can enjoy a meal overlooking the mountains. Or if you’d like, stop at milepost 412 and hike a bunch to see the Looking Glass Falls. Hike back, you’d probably be hungry by now, and set up your picnic on the Looking Glass Rock at milepost 417. Oh, and don’t forget to gas up because there are no gas stations on the parkway.
#2. Go On A Hunger Games Trail
Did you know that the wildly popular movie, The Hunger Games was shot mostly in North Carolina near Asheville? If you didn’t, you’re welcome. The movie was shot in different locations, but the most prominent is by Triple Falls on the DuPont State Forest where Katniss rescued rock-camouflaged Peeta. It’s also everybody’s top pick to set up a picnic because the rocks beside the falls are flat and the view is amazing. The stars also went to hang out in Lexington Avenue Brewery, Wasabi, the Laughing Seed and they stayed at Hotel Indigo. The District 12 setting was at the Henry Mill Ghost Town east of Asheville, it is one of the oldest places in the area. If you’re a huge Hunger Games fan, it’d be fun to trace the steps of Katniss and Peeta around Asheville.
#3. Refill Your Artistic Juices At The River Arts District
As if there weren’t enough studios before, in 2013 the River Arts District has opened more studio spaces and restaurants for your visiting pleasure. I wish all the houses on my street were as colorful and artistic as the studios here, they are a feast for the eyes. At the River Arts District, you can watch artists create their works. It’s great to go on weekends when there are exhibits and shows.
#4. Stay At A Bed & Breakfast, Not A Hotel
Bed & Breakfasts are the Bread & Butter of Asheville. Asheville NC B&Bs are more awesome than hotels. You get to experience the ambiance of a dream home and the staff is just like family. You’ll find that there are plenty of B&Bs in Asheville that carry with them a rich history, like Abbington Green B&B Inn and Cedar Crest Inn, which are my favorites.
#5. Go Shopping In Downtown Asheville
With literally hundreds of stores to keep you busy, Downtown Asheville is the ultimate place for shopaholics. You can find things from clothes to antiques, artworks to gadgets – you name it. And when you’re tired, there are lots of great restaurants and cafes waiting for you. The Tupelo Café is a must visit for great food. A word of caution though, the cafes and restaurants are literally not fast-food, so bring lots of conversation to keep you busy while you wait to be served. If you’re lucky you may even chance upon some festivals. The Drum Circle is one I quite enjoyed.
Whether you’re an artist or a historian, a classic or modern, team Peeta or team Gale in the Hunger Games, there’s a place for you in Asheville. The city has long been a mecca for those seeking to once again pump their veins with life. That’s what Asheville does to you – it calls you to life, to be alive.
About The Author: Pam Sallegue is a travel blogger. Loves to play musical instruments and take photographs.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia CC